Learn how to become a cop in NJ. Get details on average salary, pay scale, job openings, disqualification factors, as well as requirements one needed to become a police officer in NJ.

Table of Contents

Top 3 Reasons to Become a
police Officer in NJ


NJ is one of the few states that pay police officers very well. With overtime pay, the potential to make 100k isn't out of the question for cops in NJ.


Law enforcement agencies in New Jersey offer really good benefits such as paid vacations, retirement plan, dental, health insurance and more.

Career Advancement

The specialized units that you can join are endless like SWAT, Mount Patrol, Bomb Squad, K-9, School Resource Officer, Detective Unit, and more.

WATCH: The Pros and Cons Of Being a Cop

Requirements To become a cop in new Jersey

Basic Qualifications

In order to become a police officer in NJ, you must meet the minimum qualifications mentioned below.
NOTE: Some agencies have additional requirements.

  • No Felony Convictions Possession of a high school diploma or GED
  • Must be mentally and physical fit
  • Must be able to read and write the English language
  • Must be a least 21 years of age on date of hire.
  • Must be a high school graduate or have a GED.
  • Must be a United States citizen.
  • Must be of good character and reputation
  • Good credit history.
  • Must be in possession of a valid driver’s license and a good driving record.
  • Must be willing to work rotating shifts and weekends.

Disqualification Factors to Consider

Likely Disqualifiers

The Hiring Process

Application Screening
Physical Qualification Test (PQT)
Written Examination
Background Investigation
Candidate Review Board (CRB)
Medical/Psychological Examination
Pre-Employment Preparation Program (PEPP)
Qualification Screening
Polygraph Examination

Average Salary & Pay Scale

According to U.S. labor of bureau statistics (2018) the average salary for a police officer New Jersey is...

$ 1 *

* The Base Pay Above Does Not Include Holiday Pay, Longevity Pay, Education Level, Uniform Allowance, Shift Differential And Overtime. Cops Can Potentially Earn More Than The Figure Above Suggest.

New Jersey Compensation Chart

The percentile wage estimate below is the value of a wage below which  certain percent of workers fall. Data collected from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018)

10th Percentile
25th Perentile
50th percentile
75th percentile
90th percentile

Highest Paying Police Departments in NJ

MARGATE CITY- $109,560
VENTNOR CITY – $107,501
LINWOOD CITY – $91,050

source: app.com

Specialized Units Available

  • Aviation Unit (Helicopter)
  • Bomb Squad
  • Canine (K9) Unit
  • Crisis Negotiation Team
  • Fatal Crash Team
  • Marine Patrol Unit/Dive Team
  • Motorcycle Unit
  • Mounted Patrol
  • Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT)
  • Traffic Safety Unit
  • Uniform Patrol
  • Honor Guard Unit
  • Traffic Enforcement Officer
  • Criminal Investigation’s Detective
  • Crime Prevention Specialist
  • Vice and Narcotics Unit Detective
  • Warrant Unit
  • Property and Evidence Officer
  • Intelligence Unit / Gang Unit
  • Training Academy Staff
  • SWAT Officer
  • School Resource Officer
  • Under Water Search & Recovery Team
  • Polygraph Examiner
  • Field Training Officer

Top 7 Best Places to Live for Cops in NJ

According to Niche.com, if you want to live among the best places in New Jersey, then you should consider becoming a police officer in the following cities.

  1. Princeton Junction
  2. Upper Montclair
  3. Princeton
  4. Princeton Meadows
  5. Ridgewood
  6. Waterfront
  7. Westfield
  8. Short Hills
  9. Highland Park
  10. Haddonfield

Race & Ethnic Diversity in New Jersey

1 %
1 %
Black/African American
1 %
American Indian & Alaska Native
1 %
1 %
Other Race/Two or More Races
1 %
Hispanic or Latino

Crime Rate & Statistics

Top 10 Best Safest Cities to Be a Cop in NJ

1. Skillman
2. Belle Mead
3. Califon
4. Frenchtown
5. Matawan
6. Northvale
7. Ogdensburg
8. Stockton
9. Park Ridge
10. Long Valley

*Source: Neighborhoodscout.com

Top 10 Most Expensive Cities to Be A Cop NJ

  1. Alphine
  2. Saddle River
  3. Spring Lake
  4. Sea Grit
  5. Shirt Hills
  6. Mantoloking
  7. Bay Head
  8. Stone Harbor
  9. Englewood Cliffs
  10. Interlaken

*Source: Neighborhoodscout.com

Find Best Police Jobs in NJ

Click below to search for police jobs near me in NJ. Browse jobs by city/county or zip code

New Jersey Police Officer Requirements

Steps to Become a Police Officer in New Jersey

The first step to becoming a certified police officer in New Jersey is to be hired by an agency. Certification as a police officer requires attending a police academy but only officers already hired are eligible to attend one of the state’s approved academies.

A law enforcement officer cannot receive a permanent appointment without successfully completing the Basic Course for Police Officers and receiving certification by the New Jersey Police Training Commission (www.state.nj.us/lps/dcj/njptc/home.htm).

There are two ways to be hired by a police agency in New Jersey, through the New Jersey Civil Service Commission, or through another route called the Chief’s Agency Track. This method is for police agencies that do not use the state’s civil service agency to screen candidates.

For Chief’s Agency Track, you will have to contact individual agencies to find out which method of hiring they use. A good source to find police agencies in the state are the links on the website of NJLawman.com (www.njlawman.com/Links%20Page.htm).
Candidates using the civil service track must pass the Law Enforcement Examination. Those who pass remain in a hiring pool for two years. The pool of candidates is used by agencies in Civil Service jurisdictions looking for officers to fill positions.

Candidates using the Chief’s Agency  Track will have to pass entry level tests administered by these departments. Usually testing happens only when an opening exists. To find these openings a candidate will have to contact individual agencies.

Candidates who successfully complete the examinations may be hired if they meet minimum requirements. Requirements may differ in the case of Chief’s Agency Track candidates, but for Civil Service jurisdictions they include a minimum age of 18 and a high school diploma or GED equivalent. They requirements also mandate successfully completing the basic training program within 18 months of being appointed a police officer.
All appointees must be U.S. citizens and have a driver’s license. They also will have to pass medical and psychiatric examinations.

The basic training course is comprehensive and academy students will have to achieve a minimum score of 70 percent in all written examinations in 13 functional areas. These are:

Professional Development (including morals and ethics)
the Criminal Justice System
Police Community Relations; Law
Legal Requirements of Arrest
Search, Seizure, Evidence and Use of Force
Vehicle Operations; Emergency Medical Care
Weaponry and Unarmed Defense
Patrol Concepts; Traffic; Criminal Investigation; and Physical Fitness.
Students must participate in at least 90 percent of total instructional time scheduled and 80 percent of all physical conditional sessions in order to be given a passing grade no matter how well the student has scored on tests.
Only after successfully completing the basic training can an officer apply for certification with the New Jersey Police Training Commission.

According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics (2010), a police officer in the state of New Jersey makes between $60,660 – $79,300 per year. However the data collected by BLS aren’t very accurate because it does not record overtime pay or off duty work. These two factors, if included in the data, would increase the average salary of a police officer in NJ.

There are several law enforcement job openings in New Jersey. Simply visit our Career Job Opening or go to the official website of the agency you are interested in to complete an application of employment. Below is a list of all the law enforcement agencies in the state of New Jersey.

The New Jersey State Police Selection Process

IMPORTANT: The information may have change, please visit the official website of the police agency that you are interested in working for

I. Initial Application

Interested parties will receive a standard application from the Division of State Police (“the Division”). This form will be available from any State Police Recruiter and at all State Police Stations or local county clerks’ office. Attached to the application is a pre-employment inquiry sheet. Completion of this page is voluntary and will be used for affirmative action and tracking data. The application will also describe minimum qualifications and disqualifiers that would preclude a potential applicant from continuing in the selection process, as well as a detailed description of all phases of the selection process and pre-service training program

II. Initial Screening

All applications will be screened to determine if preliminary application criteria have been met. Candidates’ submissions will also be reviewed against criteria determined by the Division to be desirable for an effective member of the Division. The Recruiting Staff will select those candidates whose applications are most consistent with these criteria and those selected candidates will be invited to continue in the selection process. At this time, all candidates will be advised of the status of their application. Preliminary criminal history and motor vehicle record checks will be conducted on all applicants invited to take the written examination. Findings inconsistent with the candidate’s application will result in the removal of the candidate from further consideration.

III. Written Examination

All selected applicants will take the same standardized test. The test manufacturer will score all the tests and will report the results to the Division, together with the biographical data recorded by the applicant on the test. Applicants who receive passing scores will be invited to continue in the next phase of the selection process, the Physical Qualification Test. Applicants who do not achieve passing scores will be advised of their elimination from the selection process.

IV. Physical Qualification Test

All applicants passing the written examination will be invited to complete a Physical Qualification Test based on the current Division Standard, which is included in this application package. All applicants meeting the Standard will be deemed to have passed the Physical Qualification Test. Applicants who do not meet the Standard will be notified of their elimination from further current consideration in the selection process.

V. Initial Oral Interview

Remaining applicants will be invited to continue in the selection process by meeting with oral screening committees. Each committee will consist of a Lieutenant, a Trooper and a civilian. Civilian committee members will consist of loaned public and private sector executives and volunteer representatives of civic groups and organizations. Applicants will be asked a standard set of questions and their answers will be graded based upon established criteria which are necessary to be an effective member of the Division. A percentage of the highest-scoring applicants will be invited to continue to the next phase of the selection process, the background investigation.

VI. Background Investigation

The background investigation portion of the selection process often results in the discovery of information which might influence an applicant’s performance as a State Trooper. The typical investigation covers the historical aspects of an applicant’s educational, personal, employment and behavioral background from elementary school to the present, and will also include the investigation and validation of biographical data recorded by the applicant on the written test. Findings inconsistent with the application or the biographical data recorded by the applicant on the written test will result in the removal of the applicant from further consideration. After the background investigation is completed, the applicant will be invited to appear before the Oral Interview Board.

VII. Oral Board Review

Remaining applicants will be notified and instructed to appear for an Oral Board interview. Each Oral Board will consist of two members of the Division and one member designated by the Attorney General from within the Department of Law and Public Safety. A standard set of questions will be asked each applicant. Each applicant may also be asked additional questions as they pertain to the applicant’s background investigation. Oral Board members will grade all applicants based upon established criteria. A percentage of the highest-scoring applicants will be invited to continue in the selection process.

VIII. Medical Exam/Psychological Evaluation

A detailed medical and psychological examination will be performed on the remaining applicants following the Oral Board review. Applicants who do not meet the necessary criteria will be notified of their elimination.

IX. Acceptance to Academy

All applicants who pass the medical and psychological exam will be instructed to appear at the State Police Academy to begin the training process.

Find Police Jobs in NJ

Law Enforcement Agencies in NJ

Atlantic County Sheriff Department
Bergen County Sheriff DepartmenT
Burlington County Sheriff’s Department
Camden County Sheriff Department
Camden County PD
Cape May County Sheriff Department
Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department
Essex County Sheriff Department
Gloucester County Sheriff Department
Hudson County Sheriff Department
Hunterdon County Sheriff Department
Mercer County Sheriff Department
Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department
Monmouth County Sheriff Department
Morris County Sheriff Department
Morris County Park Police
Ocean County Sheriff’s Department
Passaic County Sheriff’s Department
Salem County Sheriff Department
Somerset County Sheriff Department
Sussex County Sheriff Department
Union County Sheriff Department
Union County PD
Warren County Sheriff Department
Aberdeen Township PD
Absecon PD
Allendale PD
Allenhurst PD
Allentown PD
Andover PD
Asbury Park PD
Atlantic Highlands PD
Atlantic City PD
Audubon PD
Avalon PD
Avon By The Sea PD
Barnegat Township PD
Bay Head PD
Bayonne PD
Beach Haven PD
Beachwood PD
Bedminster PD
Belleville PD
Belmar PD
Belvidere PD
Bergenfield PD
Berkeley PD
Berkeley Heights PD
Bloomfield PD
Bordentown Township PD
Bound Brook PD
Bridgeton PD
Bridgewater Township PD
Brigantine PD
Buena Borough PD
Boonton PD
Boonton Township PD
Butler Borough PD
Camden PD
Carteret PD
Cherry Hill PD
Cinnaminson PD
Collingswood PD
Cranbury Township PD
Delran PD
Delaware Township PD
Deptford PD
East Brunswick PD
East Orange PD
East Windsor Township PD
Eaton Township PD
Edison PD
Egg Harbor PD
Elizabeth PD
Elmwood PD
Englewood Cliffs PD
Englishtown PD
Evesham Township PD
Ewing Township PD
Franklin Township PD
Flemington Borough PD
Florence Township PD
Florham Park PD
Galloway Township PD
Garwood PD
Gloucester City PD
Gloucester Township PD
Guttenberg PD
Hamilton Township PD
Hackettstown PD
Haddon Township PD
Haddonfield PD
Harding Township PD
Hardyston PD
Harrison PD
Hasbrouck Heights PD
Borough of Helmetta PD
Hillsborough Township PD
Hoboken PD
Howell Township PD
Irvington PD
Jackson PD
Jersey City PD
Kinnelon PD
Lawrence Township PD
Lincoln Park PD
Linden PD
Little Silver PD
Long Branch PD
Magnolia PD
Mahwah PD
Manalapan PD
Metuchen PD
Middlesex Borough PD
Millville PD
Monroe Township PD
Montgomery Township PD
Morristown Township PD
Mountain Lakes PD
Mount Laurel PD
Mountainside PD
Mount Olive PD
Neptune PD
Newark PD
New Milford PD
Newton PD
New Brunswick PD
North Plainfield PD
Ocean Township PD
Old Bridge PD
Orange PD
Passaic PD
Paterson PD
Pemberton Township PD
Pennsauken PD
Pine Beach PD
Piscataway PD
Pitman PD
Plainsboro Township PD
Plainfield PD
Pleasantville PD
Princeton PD
Randolph Township PD
Ringwood PD
Riverside PD
Robbinsville PD
River Vale PD
Rockaway PD
Roxbury PD
Rutherford PD
Saddle Brook PD
Sayreville PD
Scotch Plains PD
Seaside Heights PD
Stafford Township PD
South Bound Brook PD
South River PD
Sparta PD
Toms River Township PD
Totowa Borough PD
Trenton PD
Union Beach PD
Vernon Township PD
Verona PD
Vineland PD
Waldwick PD
Wall Township PD
Washington Township PD
Wanaque PD
Watchung PD
Waterford PD
Wayne Township PD
West New York PD
West Orange PD
West Windsor Township PD
Wenonah Borough PD
Winfield PD
Winslow Township PD
Woodbridge PD
Wyckoff PD